If you’re thinking about spending some of your marketing funds on ads to reach your target audience, you’ll want to spend your money in the right place in order to get the best results. Google has over 4.8 billion interactions and 259 million unique visitors daily, and with traffic like that, it’s difficult to imagine a better place to advertise for your business.
You might be wondering if Google advertising works? As Google states, “Google is where people search for what to do, where to go, and what to buy. Your digital ads can appear on Google at the very moment someone is looking for products or services like yours. Whether you’re on desktop or mobile, a well-timed ad can turn people into valuable customers.” Read on to learn how to use Google Ads to promote your business.
What is Google Ads PPC (Formerly Known as Google Adwords)?
Google Ads, formerly known as Google Adwords, is, as HubSpot states, “a paid advertising platform that falls under a marketing channel known as pay-per-click (PPC), where you (the advertiser) pays per click or per impression (CPM) on an ad.” The platform launched in October 2000, just two years after Google burst onto the internet scene. In 2018, the advertising platform was rebranded as Google Ads. With the detailed instructions on how to use Google Ads the platform provides, Google Ads has become increasingly popular as the go-to place for digital advertising for businesses across all industries.
Google Ads PPC allows you to create and share well-time desktop and mobile ads to your target audience, which means you can advertise on the Google Search engine results page (SERP) when your ideal customers are looking for your products and services. Ads from the Google Ads platform are not limited to just the SERPs. They also display on Blogger, YouTube, and the Google Display Network, which can “help you reach people with targeted Display ads while they’re browsing their favorite websites, showing a friend a YouTube video, checking their Gmail account, or using mobile devices and apps.”
How to Use Google Ads
Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) model, which means that marketers target specific keywords on Google and make bids on the keywords, competing with other businesses also targeting those keywords. The bids for keywords are “maximum bids” or the max you’re willing to pay for an ad. For example, if you place a maximum bid of $5 and Google determines that your cost per click is $3, then you’ll get that ad placement. If Google determines that the ad is more than $5 then you won’t get the ad placement you bid on.
When using Google Ads, you can choose to set a daily maximum budget for your ad rather than placing a maximum bid. With this option, you’ll never have to worry about spending more than your specified amount for each ad per day. This bidding option can help you get a better gauge of how much you should budget for your digital ad campaigns.
There are three types of bidding options marketers can choose from as part of the Google Ads setup when using Google Ads, including:
- Cost-per-click (CPC). How much you pay when a user clicks on your ad.
- Cost-per-engagement (CPE). How much you pay when a user performs a specific action on your ad (subscribe to a list, watch a video, etc.).
- Cost-per-mille (CPM). How much you pay per 1,000 ad impressions.
Google takes the bid amount and pairs it with an assessment of your ad called a Quality Score, which according to Google, is “an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.” The Quality Score ranges from 1-10, with 10 being the best score — so, the higher your score, the less you’ll have to spend on your ads. When using Google Ads, the Quality Score combined with your bid amount creates your Ad Rank, which is the position your ads will appear on the search engine results page (SERP). When a user sees and clicks on the ad, the marketer will pay a small fee for the ad click, hence pay-per-click.
Terms to Remember When Using Google Ads
Below are some common terms to help you understand, set up, optimize, and run your Google Ads. While some of the terms are specific to using Google Ads, some are related to PPC ads in general.
- AdRank. AdRank determines your ad placement when using Google Ads. The higher your AdRank, the more your ad will be shown to users. This increases the probability of users clicking on your ad. Your AdRank is determined by your maximum ad bid multiplied by your Quality Score.
- Keywords. When a Google user conducts a search, Google returns a range of results that match the searcher’s intent. They conduct these searches via keywords, which are words and phrases that align with what a searcher wants to satisfy their query. For your ads, select keywords based on the types of search queries you want your ads to display alongside.
- Negative Keywords. This is a list of keyword terms you don’t want to rank for. Generally, negative keywords are semi-related to your intended search terms but aren’t keywords you want to rank for.
- Campaign Type. As part of the Google Ads setup process, you’ll have to decide what type of Google Ads you want to launch:
- Search Ads are text ads that are placed shown on Google SERPs.
- Responsive Search Ads allow you to create multiple versions of ad headlines and copy (15 versions of ad headlines and 4 variations of ad copy) when using Google Ads so Google can select the best performing ads to display to users. With traditional Search ads, you create only one version of your ad. Response Search ads, however, give you the opportunity to test your ad components to understand which ads are earning the most clicks.
- Video Ads are 6-15-second ads shown on YouTube.
- Display Ads are typically image-based and shown on web pages within the Google Display Network.
- The Google Display Network (GDN) is a network of websites that allow space on their webpages for Google Ads. These ads can be images or text and are displayed with content that matches your selected keywords. Typically, the most popular Display Ads are Google Shopping and app campaign ads.